At 7:15 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Beaver and Broad in Sewickley, some guys rode a white horse, but not Joey Lanianese.
In a flash, dancers rush into a choreographed routine. Spectators click pictures on their cell phones. The object of Joey’s affection, Alex DeLoia, of Robinson, thought it was supposed to be a dinner date with friends.
“And we met them there and then they started a flash mob,” she said. “I didn’t have dinner that night!”
Meeting as freshmen at Kent State six years ago, Joey designed the diamond and rose gold engagement ring and spent two months dreaming up his “flash mob” proposal, including secret dance rehearsals and sending videos of the moves to out-of-towners so they’d be ready.
“The go-to excuse was, ‘I’m going to a softball game’ so she bought it for a couple of months anyway,” says Joey.
Closing down Sewickley’s main thoroughfare for 37 minutes was done with Borough Manager Kevin Flannery’s blessing.
“They probably had about 150 to 175 people participating in this flash mob,” he said. “By the time it got started, there was a good 200-300 people here!”
Joey’s future mother-in-law, Cora DeLoia, loved every minute of it.
“Joey is the type of guy, you know, no idea is too big for him.”
And to the beat of Bruno Mars’s tune “Marry You” and in a world where social media rules, Joey Lanianese wooed his bride-to-be in the way it’s been done since who knows when – down on one knee.
And of course, she accepted.